Job losses unavoidable at UTV Ireland as merger with TV3 is finalised

first_img By Cormac Fitzgerald 39 Comments Share78 Tweet Email2 Image: Mark Stedman UTV IRELAND HAS officially become part of TV3, with the loss of some jobs expected as a result.Irish commercial broadcaster TV3 – which is owned by Virgin Media – announced today that it has officially completed the acquisition of UTV Ireland.It is expected that there will be some jobs losses at the network as a result of the merger.UTV Ireland currently employs 61 permanent staff.In a statement today, Virgin Media announced a “restructuring programme” around consolidating the two businesses into one.It said it has 40 open job vacancies at TV3, “many of which it is hoped will be filled by current UTV Ireland staff”.“The proposed changes may result in unavoidable redundancies in UTV Ireland,” a Virgin Media Spokesperson said. But where possible, staff will be offered redeployment opportunities within TV3.The company will enter into a 30 day consultation period with effect from 5 December.UTV Ireland will become part will rebrand and become part of Virgin Media’s Irish broadcast operation by the end of January, joining TV3 and 3e.As a result of the merger, UTV Ireland will move from its base at Macken House in Dublin 1 to TV3 HQ in Ballymount.Today’s merger announcement was preceded by a confirmation last week that leading primetime soaps Emmerdale and Coronation Street will be returning to TV3 from UTV Ireland as a result.Redundancies Commenting on the merger, Seamus Dooley, Irish secretary of the National Union of Journalists, said that he hoped Virgin Media would honour its “moral obligation” and offer redundancy packages to UTV Ireland staff who lose their jobs as a result.“We would hope that the company would meet a moral obligation,” Dooley told anyone who loses their job as a result is offered a redundancy package or a transfer.Dooley said that the merger between the two broadcasters arose out of a transfer of shares and so employee rights aren’t protected under current laws.The law which protects employees when companies merge (known as TUPE) does not apply when a transfer of shares take place.It is unclear at this stage whether UTV Ireland employees who lose their jobs will be awarded redundancy packages following the merger.Dooley said the NUJ was calling on Virgin Media to “do the right thing” and ensure that redundancies are offered, and that anyone reemployed by TV3 doesn’t suffer diminished working conditions.“We call on employer to honour the agreement, do the decent thing and ensure that people that transfer over don’t suffer diminished conditions,” he said.When asked whether it would be providing redundancy packages to UTV Ireland staff, a spokesperson for Virgin Media said it will “not be disclosing any detail regarding our discussions with staff at UTV Ireland at this time”.Dooley encouraged any members of UTV Ireland to contact the NUJ if they had concerns.StruggleFrom its inception in January 2015, UTV Ireland struggled to compete for ratings with established broadcasters RTÉ and TV3.UTV Media which owned the station said last November it expected to lose €18.4 million on the station in its first year.That trading update came a month after it was announced the company was selling its entire TV operation to ITV, including its long-running Northern Ireland-based service.It was announced in July that the station was to be sold to Virgin Media for the price tag of about €10 million.Commenting today on the acquisition, Pat Kiely, managing director of TV3 said that it “strengthens independent television broadcasting in Ireland”.“We can now also play an increasingly bigger role in the development of Irish originated production and broadcasting.I am confident that our new three channel structure will drive the future potential and long term growth of the business.Read: UTV Ireland and TV3 will soon be part of one big company. What will that mean for viewers?Read: UTV Ireland is being sold to the company that already owns TV3 Job losses ‘unavoidable’ at UTV Ireland as merger with TV3 is finalised UTV Ireland currently employs 61 permanent staff.center_img 19,062 Views Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Dec 1st 2016, 1:08 PM Image: Mark Stedman Thursday 1 Dec 2016, 1:08 PM Short URLlast_img read more

Dad jailed for 21 days for failing to pay child maintenance for

first_img Image: PA Wire Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Share Tweet Email10 Dad jailed for 21 days for failing to pay child maintenance for his two kids He owed almost €6,500 to his estranged partner. 82 Comments A JUDGE HAS jailed a ‘dead-beat Dad’ – who has received €266,000 in two personal injury claims – for failing to pay arrears in the €90-a-week maintenance payments for his two children.At the Family Law Court in Ennis, Judge Patrick Durcan made the rare move of jailing the Co Clare man for 21 days over his failure to pay over any of the €6,490 arrears owed to his estranged partner and mother of their two children.Judge Durcan issued the immediate warrant for the man to be sent to Limerick prison and the man can only be released after he has paid the €6,490 to the prison Governor.The man arrived to the hearing in a top-of-the-range car valued at around €60,000 but in court the man denied that he owned it and said that it belonged to his mother.Representing himself in court with the threat of jail looming, the man said:I wouldn’t like to go jail. I have never been in court before and I have never been in jail before and the thing about it is, I would pay the €10 a week until it is paid off.The Irish Prison Service (IPS) confirmed yesterday that only one individual was jailed for not paying sufficient maintenance in 2015 and this followed five jailed for a similar offence in 2014.For fathers who have fallen behind in their maintenance payments, Judge Durcan often issues a warrant for their jailing for 21 days to come into force at an adjourned court date in two weeks in order to give them time to pay the arrears.Judge Durcan often reminds the fathers that Limerick prison “can be a very stuffy place this time of year” and the threat of jail usually results in the fathers bringing cash into court to avoid prison.However, in this case, Judge Durcan issued warnings to the man in January and at the start of this month for the man to pay the arrears and he still failed to make any payments this month.The man received €234,000 from a successful personal injury claim in 2013 and an additional €23,000 from another claim in 2015.In court, Judge Durcan told him:You recovered a total of €266,000 in the past four years in personal injury claims.In reply, the man said: “Yes, your honour and I paid for my house and I’m living by myself and I pay my own bills.”Judge Durcan said: “On 2 February, I imposed a 21-day prison sentence with the warrant to issue at 12.30 today following an application by solicitor, Shíofra Hassett for her client in this case.“I adjourned the case to today’s date to see if you had made any progress – in other words to see if you had shown any decency in this case.”The man said that he had no money to pay it and said, “I can pay €10 a week to pay it off.”He continued: “I was talking to a solicitor and he told me that I should have gone through the courts to reduce the maintenance and I thought myself and my former partner had an agreement to reduce it.”The man said that the solicitor is going to represent him in a separate case to have the maintenance reduced.However, Judge Durcan said that he was signing the warrant immediately and Garda James Hanley then placed the shocked man in hand-cuffs and led him out of court to be brought to Ennis Garda Station before prison.Garda Hanley also removed the man’s vehicle and placed it at the compound at Ennis Garda Station.At a previous court hearing in January into the issue, solicitor Shiofra Hassett for the man’s estranged partner, said that no agreement was made to reduce the weekly payments.“He made a unilateral decision to reduce arrears. He is clearly in better financial circumstances than my client,” Hassett said.At that hearing, the man told the court that he had to repay a €5,000 drug debt, credit card bills and a Credit Union loan.More: Roscrea all-boys boarding school to close after 112 years Image: PA Wire By Gordon Deegan Saturday 18 Feb 2017, 7:15 AM 179,074 Views Feb 18th 2017, 7:15 AM last_img read more

8 things we learned from Theresa Mays Brexit speech

first_img8 things we learned from Theresa May’s Brexit speech And what it means for Ireland. Source: Kirsty WigglesworthTHERESA MAY HAS spoken.During the British Prime Minister’s much anticipated speech at lunchtime today, she acknowledged that the United Kingdom cannot remain in the single market (but wants access to it); does not want a deal already offered to other countries (but wants the best deal possible); and wants the EU and its members to prosper.In her plan for negotiating deals once the UK leaves the EU, she laid out her 12-point plan about what she hoped to achieve during negotiations – some of which posed more questions than it answered.So here’s a list of the most important things we learned from her speech this afternoon, and what it means for Ireland.1. Common Travel Area Source: Steve ParsonsOne of the strongest statements May made today – and not just from an Irish point of view – was when she outlined the importance of maintaining the Common Travel Area between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.It was fourth on her 12-point to do list – right after British law and maintaining relations with Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales – and it made the cut as she closed her speech too: … Our intelligence capabilities – unique in Europe – have already saved countless lives in very many terrorist plots that have been thwarted in countries across our continent.“After Brexit, Britain wants to be a good friend and neighbour in every way, and that includes defending the safety and security of all of our citizens.”7. Timeline?May’s speech was more aspirational than concrete – setting the tone for negotiations rather than illuminating how they will go about it.She did say, however, that there was to be no ‘transitional status’ while negotiations are underway which would lead the UK to be “stuck forever in some kind of permanent political purgatory”.She also added that ”it is not my job to fill column inches with daily updates”, suggesting that even if she did have a plan on this, she won’t be sharing it with the public or media.“This is a fair and comprehensive plan. 35,104 Views Tuesday 17 Jan 2017, 5:53 PM Jan 17th 2017, 5:53 PM By Gráinne Ní Aodha Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlecenter_img [The Common Travel Area] was formed before either of our two countries were members of the European Union. And the family ties and bonds of affection that unite our two countries mean that there will always be a special relationship between us.Maintaining a ‘soft’ border should not be too difficult to negotiate for, as both Switzerland and Norway enjoy a ‘soft’ border with its EU neighbours.However, what is more problematic is that May only pledged to find a solution that “protected the integrity of the United Kingdom’s immigration system”. So there may not be a lot of room for manoeuvre there.2. Trade agreement Source: PA Wire/PA ImagesOf all the issues surrounding a Brexit, trade tariffs is the one that could hurt the British government the most. It would mean that goods, services and capital will be taxed at a higher rate than when they were within the EU (presumably).The PM wants a TTIP-type trade agreement to allow for the “maximum freedom to trade with European markets and let European markets do the same here”.Although her entire speech was reasonable and conciliatory, May gently warned the EU that if it didn’t cut them a good deal on trade, it would affect businesses, economies and jobs in the remaining 27 countries, and that they’d get aggressive in competing for trade.3. Limiting and protecting EuropeansSince David Cameron’s resignation, there has been much speculation about May’s personal stance on Brexit. Although she officially stood behind her boss in the referendum campaign, it’s thought that she agrees that there should be more limitations on immigration.In the speech today, May gave a bit more insight into how she feels about the issue, saying, “While controlled immigration can bring great benefits – filling skills shortages, delivering public services, making British businesses the world-beaters they often are – when the numbers get too high, public support for the system falters.”May also pledged to guarantee the rights of British citizens already in EU countries and EU citizens already in Britain as a kind of halfway meeting ahead of negotiations with the EU.4. The other Union Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Source: Jamie Simpson/Herald & TimesIn the wake of Brexit, people found it difficult to justify the reasons for a United Kingdom (remember that mantra, ‘Let’s take back control’).Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon promised that there would be a second Scottish independence referendum – based on their vote to remain in the EU.With recent elections called in Northern Ireland, May presented a united front today when she said that the UK’s devolved administrations can submit their requests for the Brexit negotiations.“We have already received a paper from the Scottish government, and look forward to receiving a paper from the Welsh government shortly. Both papers will be considered as part of this important process.“We won’t agree on everything, but I look forward to working with the administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to deliver a Brexit that works for the whole of the United Kingdom.”5. Legal Another great pillar of the Brexit vote was the people’s wish for sovereignty over their own laws. May has assuaged concerns that there would be a repeal of certain EU laws by clarifying that the same laws would be passed over into British law.“And it is why, as we repeal the European Communities Act, we will convert the acquis – the body of existing EU law – into British law. Those who urge us to reveal more, such as the blow by blow of our negotiation strategy, will not be acting in the national interest.8. So should Ireland be worried? Are they?In the Dáil earlier today, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin made his concerns over the lack of detail and the lack of provisions for the Irish people known.Enda Kenny tried to assure Martin, telling him that this was only the start of the process, and that “we now have further clarification” of what kind of deal Britain wants from the EU.Independent Galway TD Michael Fitzmaurice said that the onus was now Europe to ensure that Ireland is protected from a ‘hard’ Brexit.Fianna Fáil TD Dara O’Brien was a bit more dismissive of the speech, saying that although the tone was soft, the message was tough. He told Drivetime this evening that “it’s effectively a total divorce, asking for a border of sorts to come into play in the north”.He called once more for a Brexit minister here and asked the government to “start being selfish about Ireland”.As it happened: Theresa May has outlined her plans for Brexit Share37 Tweet Email4 103 Comments Short URL As the clock ticks down, get all the best Brexit news and analysis in your inbox: This will give the country maximum certainty as we leave the EU. The same rules and laws will apply on the day after Brexit as they did before.“And it will be for the British Parliament to decide on any changes to that law after full scrutiny and proper Parliamentary debate.”6. Britain offer security as a pay off Source: AP/Press Association ImagesIn an effort to show the reward for keeping Britain onside, May cited British secret service MI6, Britain’s nuclear powers, and anti-terrorism efforts.Her offer of cross-border crime protection was particularly significant, as this is an issue that Britain has historically held back on.last_img read more

Super Bowl ads get political and discuss four years of bad hair

first_imgSuper Bowl ads get political and discuss ‘four years of bad hair’ A number of ads touted inclusiveness and diversity. Share97 Tweet Email1 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Monday 6 Feb 2017, 7:10 AM 23,067 Views 28 Comments Feb 6th 2017, 7:10 AM ‘It’s a 10’ ad Source: Screengrab/YouTubeMESSAGES ABOUT AMERICA, inclusiveness — and, even “four years of awful hair” — kept bubbling up in Super Bowl 51 ads from Airbnb, the NFL and a line of personal care products.As the New England Patriots edged out the Atlantic Falcons on the field in Houston, Airbnb touted inclusiveness with an ad showing faces of different ethnicities and the copy: “We all belong. The world is more beautiful the more you accept.”Coca-Cola aired a previously run ad during the pre-game show in which people sing America the Beautiful in different languages. Even a hair care brand dipped into politics: The ‘It’s a 10′ hair brand indirectly referenced President Donald Trump’s famously unruly do in its Super Bowl spot. Source: Le GUIZMO/YouTubeAdvertisers who paid $5 million (about €4.6 million) for 30 seconds of airtime had to walk the line with ads that appealed to everyone and didn’t offend. Some were more successful than others.“Anxiety and politics just loom over this game, so anybody who gives us the blessed relief of entertaining with a real Super Bowl commercial wins,” Mark DiMassimo, CEO of the ad agency DiMassimo Goldstein, said.“Brands used to worry about whether their ad could be interpreted as right or wrong, Kelly O’Keefe, a marketing professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, said. “Now they have to worry about whether it will be interpreted as right or left.”Plenty of ads walked that line.An NFL spot conveyed what all advertisers hope the Super Bowl becomes: a place where Americans can come together. “Inside these lines, we may have our differences, but recognise there’s more that unites us,” Forest Whitaker said in a voiceover as workers prepped a football field and gridiron scenes played.“The Super Bowl is shaping up as a counterpoint to the divisiveness in the United States,” Tim Calkins, a marketing professor at Northwestern University, said.Airbnb’s ad was one of the more overtly political, showing a variety of different faces with the tagline “We accept.” Source: Superbowl TV/YouTubeSome thought the ad was a hit. “Kudos to them for making a strong statement,” O’Keefe said. But others, such as Villanova University marketing professor Charles Taylor, thought it didn’t have a clear enough link to the brand and risked coming off as a “purely political statement”.Some advertisers took the safest route possible by re-airing ads they’ve used before — an unusual, though not unprecedented, move. Coca-Cola, Google and Fiji water all aired rerun ads.During the pre-game show, Coca-Cola ran It’s Beautiful, an ad featuring people around the country drinking the fizzy beverage and singing America the Beautiful in different languages.SurprisesA debut Super Bowl spot by the ‘It’s a 10′ hair care brand introduced its line of men’s products by joking about Trump’s hair. Source: itsa10haircare/YouTube“America, we’re in for four years of awful hair, so it’s up to you to do your part by making up for it with great hair,” a voiceover stated as black-and-white photos of people with a wide array of hairstyles flashed by. “Do your part. … Let’s make sure these next four years are ‘It’s a 10.’”Snickers got press by airing a live ad in the third quarter. On a Wild West set, actor Adam Driver seemed to now know the ad was live — and then the set fell apart (on purpose). “You ruin live Super Bowl commercials when you’re hungry,” the ad’s tagline read.Ads with light humour and stuffed with celebrities were popular. Honda’s ad made a splash by animating the yearbook photos of nine celebrities ranging from Tina Fey to Viola Davis. They make fun of their photos — Jimmy Kimmel is dressed in a blue tux and holding a clarinet, for example — and talk about The Power of Dreams, Honda’s ad slogan.T-Mobile’s spots — which featured Justin Bieber dancing , Kristen Schaal in a 50 Shades of Grey parody and Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg mixing talk about T-Mobile’s unlimited data plan with innuendo about Snoop’s marijuana habit, got people talking — as did an ad from antioxidant drink maker Bai featuring Justin Timberlake and Christopher Walken.Read: Trump draws criticism as he repeats respect for ‘killer’ PutinRead: US court denies request to immediately reinstate travel ban By Associated Press Short URLlast_img read more

Planners are trying to engage with us and we have a duty

first_img Carol Tallon ‘Planners are trying to engage with us and we have a duty to join the conversation’ When we accept that we are all part of the planning process everything becomes easier, writes Carol Tallon. 11 Comments Sunday 16 Apr 2017, 8:45 AM Apr 16th 2017, 8:45 AM LAST WEEK I was invited to speak at the Irish Planning Institute AGM in beautiful Westport. Knowing that IPI membership is made up of planners from the public and private sector, I had to work to keep an open mind and resolved to leave industry prejudices and presumptions on the Dublin side of the M4.The line-up of talks and case studies, both national and international, introduced concepts worth aspiring to. However, as anyone familiar with these events will know, the magic happens far away from the podium and microphones.VisionariesBeneath the shackles of an overly complex and increasingly convoluted regulatory framework, beats the collective heart of professional visionaries. This surprised me but it ought not to have.The term “visionary” can be thrown around loosely, but over the course of two days, I heard proposals for a new-era alternative to sheltered housing for the elderly, a more dignified, socially-inclusive approach to so-called social housing and an ambitious re-imagining of our primary education facilities. None of these came from the podium.There can be no doubt that the profession is attracting the right type of people and, despite it all, these professionals are being retained but they are not untouched by endless public and media cynicism.NIMBY-ismIt is no secret that local planners encounter NIMBY-ism. The reality on the ground is that when local politics are ignored, good projects fail, irrespective of project merit or public need.While not by design, our planning system has evolved into an opponent driven system and that is simply not helpful.Even I, as a layperson, can identify the need for planning policies that outlive the political party of the day, the need for less political interference rather than more, the need for a less complex regulatory system and the need to rebuild trust for more holistic integration of the planning process.Housing Minister Simon Coveney addressed the gathering and engaged well, getting stuck into the heavy issues at hand with characteristic forthrightness. He confirmed what the majority in the room already believed, that this current system of planning is no longer serving us well.Is the current system working?In an interactive Q&A session that very question was posed: “Is the current planning system working?”A cursory show of hands told a tale of failure. Of course, this did open up a debate on what actually constitutes “the planning system” and, following on from that, depending upon your interpretation of what the system is, it begs the follow-on question of who is a part of the planning process.And in getting to the who, I believe we got to the heart of the breakdown, the core concept that is “public engagement”. The State, local authorities and private developers are all speaking to the public and inviting submissions but is that really “engagement”?Is talking to someone, anyone, really the same as listening to them? From what I can see, the conversation is not taking place where people outside the planning system are. And I am not convinced that the communication is authentic.Perhaps the more important question is whether public feedback is genuinely sought, welcomed and listened to? They are all big questions and I am not entirely sure who is in a position to answer them. I cannot.What I learnedBut I did learn a lot, being a non-planner in a room full of planners. I learned that I am an integral part of the planning process, not because of any special education, training or experience in the construction or property industries, but because I am a member of my community.Just as you are a part of our planning process, along with our teachers and students, parents and children, workers and non-workers, business leaders and community bodies.By virtue of the fact that we live in communities, we are part of the planning process that goes into the design of how we live.So, the choice is ours; how involved do we want to get. Are we happy to leave it to our publicly elected representatives or will we take the opportunity to speak up and participate in the public consultation process that is open to everyone?When we accept that we are all part of the planning process, then suddenly, it is no longer about them, for they are us. We have a collective responsibility to take part and to help get this right for ourselves and for future generations.Planners are actively ramping up their public engagement – meaningful engagement. Now the public have a duty to join in the conversation as it is only by joining that we can hope to change the conversation.Carol Tallon is the author of the Irish Property Buyers’ Handbook series.‘Tribunals and commissions achieve nothing. They just shield the guilty from prosecution’Julien Mercille: Liberals are wrong to cheer on Trump’s bombs Short URL Share Tweet Email5 158 Views By Carol Tallon Author of the Irish Property Buyers’ Handbook series Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

US charges two Russian spies with hacking 500 million Yahoo accounts

first_img 6,111 Views By AFP No Comments Image: Niall Carson PA Wire/PA Images US charges two Russian spies with hacking 500 million Yahoo accounts Two “criminal hackers” were also indicted in relation to the Yahoo hack. Wednesday 15 Mar 2017, 5:02 PM Mar 15th 2017, 5:02 PM Image: Niall Carson PA Wire/PA Images Share Tweet Email Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article TWO AGENTS FROM Russia’s FSB spy agency and two “criminal hackers” were indicted today over a massive cyberattack affecting 500 million Yahoo users, the US Justice Department announced.The indictment unveiled in Washington links Russia’s top spy agency to one of the largest hacking attacks in history, carried out in 2014, and which officials said was used for espionage and financial gain.Officials identified the agents as Dmitry Dokuchaev and Igor Sushchin, both of whom were part of the successor agency to Russia’s KGB.Dokuchaev was an officer in the FSB Centre for Information Security, known as “Centre 18,” which is supposed to investigate hacking and is the FBI’s point of contact in Moscow for cyber crimes.The 33-year-old was reported to have been arrested in Moscow earlier this year on treason charges. He is accused of directing the Yahoo hack along with his superior, the 43-year-old Sushchin.The two officers “protected, directed, facilitated and paid criminal hackers to collect information through computer intrusions in the United States and elsewhere,” acting assistant attorney general Mary McCord told reporters. Acting Assistant Attorney General Mary McCord taking questions today. Source: Susan Walsh AP/Press Association ImagesThey hired Alexsey Belan and Karim Baratov, described as “criminal hackers,” to carry out the attacks.McCord said the attack was directed at gathering information “clearly some of which has intelligence value,” but adding that “the criminal hackers used this to line their own pockets for private financial gain.”Targets included Russian and US government officials, including cyber security, diplomatic and military personnel, McCord said.“They also targeted Russian journalists; numerous employees of other providers whose networks the conspirators sought to exploit; and employees of financial services and other commercial entities,” she added.McCord said Baratov, a Canadian national, was arrested this week on a US warrant in Canada.Belan, 29, has been indicted twice in US cases involving the hacking of e-commerce companies, and is listed as one of the FBI’s “Cyber Most Wanted criminals.”The attack on Yahoo, disclosed last year, was one of the largest ever data breaches ever and at the time was blamed on a “nation-state” attacker.The indictments come amid a high-stakes US investigation into claims of Russian cyber-meddling in the US election, potentially to aid the winning efforts of Donald Trump.Asked if there were any links between the two cases, McCord said, “We don’t have anything that suggests… any relationship between those” cases.The other case “is an ongoing investigation,” she added.- © AFP, 2017Comments have been closed, as charges have been brought against the parties involved.Read: Yahoo confirms at least 500 million accounts hackedRead: “Change your password now” – What to do if you have a Yahoo accountlast_img read more

Missing teen found safe and well

first_img 27,614 Views Saturday 23 Feb 2019, 7:51 AM Image: Paolo Trabattoni/Flickr/CC Feb 23rd 2019, 7:51 AM GARDAÍ IN CO Mayo say a missing teenager has been found safe and well.Mary McDonagh had been missing from Castlebar.Gardaí say she has since been located safe and well. They thanked the public for their help. – Additional reporting Aoife Barry 2 Comments Missing teen found safe and well Mary McDonagh has been missing from Castlebar since yesterday afternoon. Short URL Image: Paolo Trabattoni/Flickr/CC By Hayley Halpin Share120 Tweet Email Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Irish trucks can keep accessing the continent through the landbridge after a

first_img By Christina Finn Irish trucks can keep accessing the continent through the landbridge after a hard Brexit The Taoiseach said today no one knows what will happen in a no-deal scenario. IRISH TRUCKS CAN keep accessing the continent through the landbridge in the event of a hard Brexit, Cabinet was told today. Access by the landbridge – the UK transit route linking Ireland and mainland Europe – has been agreed between the Irish and British government under the Common Transit Convention. The Convention covers the European Union, European Free Trade Association, as well as Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Turkey, Switzerland Macedonia and Serbia.The agreement will ensure that traders only have to make customs declarations and pay import duties when they arrive at their final destination.Irish trucks Around 150,000 Irish trucks travel through the UK for export to the EU every year,  that’s three million tonnes of Irish traffic a year.It takes less than 20 hours to go from Ireland through Great Britain to the EU by road, according to a report by the Irish Maritime Development Office.It takes 40 hours for direct roll-on, roll-off services (so, trucks that then go on ferries) and 60 hours for load-on load-off services (no trucks, just ferries).Agrifood trade relies heavily on the landbridge, while two-thirds of Irish goods exporters make use of the UK landbridge to access continental markets.  Image: PA Wire/PA Images Mar 26th 2019, 7:23 PM Short URL 20 Comments Image: PA Wire/PA Images 30,110 Views Tuesday 26 Mar 2019, 7:23 PM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article As the clock ticks down, get all the best Brexit news and analysis in your inbox: Share125 Tweet Email3 Separately today, Sinn Féin Mary Lou McDonald said there are “no circumstances, no excuses, no scenario in which anybody would have a justifiable cause to take up arms”.She said Irish people, in Northern Ireland and the Republic, have embraced a “new reality of relative stability”. There is nothing to share, these are preliminary discussions. There are no papers or documents. Source: The Explainer/SoundCloudEarlier this month, the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys urged businesses to make sure they are ready to avail of the customs transit procedure for moving goods through the UK landbridge post-Brexit.Businesses who wish to continue to use the landbridge will need to have a Revenue-approved comprehensive financial guarantee in place.This comprehensive guarantee is required as financial security to cover all potential and actual customs debts such as customs and taxes, said the minister, who called on traders to contact Revenue about their customs arrangements“Businesses that move their goods to or from mainland Europe using the UK landbridge need to be aware that customs procedures will apply to them post-Brexit.“If a business moves goods through the UK, or sources their supplies or components from mainland Europe via the UK landbridge, they need to put in place a financial guarantee to be in a position to avail of the ‘Transit’ procedure to lessen customs delays and costs,” she said. “It takes time to put the necessary financial guarantee in place to be able to avail of this procedure though, so whether you’re a cement manufacturer exporting to Germany or a florist whose flowers come from Holland through the UK, I would urge businesses to start consulting with their bank or financial providers and Revenue straight away. Alternatively, businesses can engage a customs agent or logistics company to do so, but either way they need to start the process now,” Humphreys said recently. Border discussions Brexit preparations was also raised at Leaders’ Questions, with Fianna Fáil’s Micheál Martin asking about the level of discussions going on between the European Commission around the border issues in a no-deal scenario.It was reported over the weekend that German Chancellor Angela Merkel was anxious for discussions about what would happen to the border in the no-deal scenario be escalated. Speaking about it today, Varadkar said: “It is not right nor is it possible for the Deputy to come in here and say that Chancellor Merkel said that or President Macron said this. It is not how the European Council works nor is it how it should work. If it has been reported that Chancellor Merkel said, ‘Get on with it’, I can say that is not the case.“On a no-deal Brexit, the fact that I neither confirm nor affirm something that somebody is alleged to have said at a European Council meeting does not mean that I did not did not deny it,” he said, adding that he is not at liberty to say who said what at a European Council meeting.Who knows?The Taoiseach told the Dáil today that no one is sure what will happen if the UK crashes out of Europe.“I have been asked a few times what would happen in the hypothetical scenario of the United Kingdom crashing out of the European Union without a deal. Of course, I do not know for sure – nobody knows for sure – what would happen in that scenario. It will depend on various factors other than that.”He reiterated to the opposition that no preparations for a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland have begun and no preparations for physical infrastructure, checks or customs controls between Northern Ireland and Ireland.“Even in the event of no deal, we believe the United Kingdom continues to have obligations under the Good Friday Agreement. We have obligations under the Good Friday Agreement as co-guarantors. We also recognise that the UK will have obligations under WTO rules and we will have obligations to protect our Single Market and our customs union, which obviously creates a problem. It creates a dilemma. Those are the conversations we have to have as to what might be done in different hypothetical scenarios,” he added.Varadkar confirmed that discussions have taken place at an “official” level“Talks with the Commission have been happening at official level on exploring what contingencies could exist. What they will be nobody can say for sure because a lot of that will depend on what approach the UK Government takes if it maintains full regulatory alignment,” said Varadkar.Martin asked the Taoiseach to share the details with the House, but he replied: last_img read more

Florida approves bill allowing teachers to carry guns

first_imgFlorida approves bill allowing teachers to carry guns The aim of the measure is to prevent school shootings but opponents say it’s a dangerous move. By AFP 129 Comments Thursday 2 May 2019, 8:10 AM Share69 Tweet Email3 FLORIDA’S HOUSE OF Representatives has approved a bill allowing teachers to carry firearms – a controversial step whose effectiveness in countering school shootings remains unproven.The aim of the measure, which was previously approved by the state’s Senate and will now need to be approved by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, is to prevent school shootings such as one that left 17 people dead at a high school in Parkland, Florida in February 2018.Supporters of the bill – which permits teachers to carry firearms on school campuses on a voluntary basis after they have completed 144 hours of training – say armed teachers could save lives in the event of a school shooting.But its opponents warn of the danger of accidents among teachers who would effectively be tasked with policing as well as education, and who, in the event of a school shooting, could be mistaken for a shooter by law enforcement.Arming teachers is a recipe for disaster—a reckless plan which will complicate active-shooter situations. It’s especially foolish that we might waste critical anti-terrorism funding to do it. The real solution is to keep guns out of the wrong hands. #EndGunViolence— Rep. Val Demings (@RepValDemings) April 29, 2019 19,746 Views Image: Erin Scott Students protesting gun violence in Washington D.C. in March Image: Erin Scott “Arming teachers is a recipe for disaster – a reckless plan which will complicate active-shooter situations,” Representative Val Demings, a Florida Democrat and former Orlando police chief, said of the measure.“The real solution is to keep guns out of the wrong hands,” Demings tweeted in response to the bill’s approval. © – AFP 2019 May 2nd 2019, 8:10 AM Students protesting gun violence in Washington D.C. in March Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Man injured after being stabbed multiple times in front of customers in

first_img Man injured after being stabbed multiple times in front of customers in ‘packed’ Limerick pub The broad daylight stabbing occurred around 3.20pm on Sunday afternoon. By David Raleigh Short URL Image: Niall Carson/PA Images Image: Niall Carson/PA Images 8 Comments Share Tweet Email Tuesday 27 Aug 2019, 1:17 PM Aug 27th 2019, 1:17 PM GARDAÍ IN LIMERICK have appealed for witnesses after a man was stabbed “a number of times” in a pub in Limerick city last weekend.According to a reliable source the pub was “packed with customers” at the time, and gardaí are anxious to speak to any eye-witnesses.The broad daylight stabbing occurred around 3.20pm last Sunday afternoon, inside the premises, at Upper William Street.Afterwards, the victim, aged in his mid 20s, made his way out onto the street outside the premises.He was eventually discovered by members of the public in a collapsed state lying on the ground.It’s believed a man and woman, who at the time were walking along Upper William Street, assisted the man and also contacted emergency services.“Last Sunday, the 25 August at 3.20 in the afternoon, gardaí at Henry Street got a call to say that a man was lying on Upper William Street and that he was injured,” Sergeant Ber Leetch of Henry Street Garda Station said.“Gardaí went to the scene and the ambulance was already there and they removed the man to hospital. Gardaí were informed that the man had been stabbed a number of times.”Sergeant Leetch added: “William Street is a very busy place on a Sunday afternoon and Gardai are asking anybody who was around that area – that is the top of William Street – between 3.15pm and 3.45pm – to contact them if they saw this assault of know anything about it.”A separate garda spokeswoman stated that the victim “was taken to University Hospital Limerick with noon-life threatening injuries”.Witnesses are asked to contact Henry Street garda station on 061 212 400, or the Garda confidential line on 1800 666 111. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 27,670 Views last_img read more

Samaras Rescue package leads Greece to dead end

first_imgNew Democracy leader Antonis Samaras last week accused PASOK of giving away the keys to Greece, as he made his first speech as party president at the New Democracy party congress in Athens, ahead of announcing his policies for getting Greece out of the economic crisis.Samaras has seen his party slip in the opinion polls following its heavy general election defeat last October. But in his first opportunity to address more than 4,400 conservative delegates since taking charge of ND last November, he suggested his party is ready to go on the offensive.First, he attacked PASOK for its handling of the economic crisis and its decision to sign an emergency loan agreement with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.“PASOK handed over the keys to the country by signing the [EU-IMF] memorandum, which leads to a never-ending cycle of recession and destruction,” he told his audience. “The memorandum is leading us to a dead end. We are searching for a way that Greece can get out of this agreement as soon as possible so we can implement a different mix of economic policy.”Samaras said that ND would set out its ideas for exiting the economic crisis on July 7.Samaras then attacked ex-Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, who he recently expelled from New Democracy and the right-wing Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) for supporting PASOK’s austerity measures. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Latest poll reveals growing disapproval

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram PASOK has slipped further behind New Democracy, according to the latest poll for the newspaper Kathimerini and Skai by Public Issue, but elections would not yield an outright winner as dissatisfaction among voters is running high. The survey indicated that support for PASOK has slipped almost four per cent since last month following the introduction of an emergency property tax and several other austerity measures. This leaves the Socialists on 22.5 per cent. New Democracy is on 31.5 per cent, which if replicated in a general election would leave the conservatives well short of a majority. According to the projections, ND would gain between 134 and 145 seats in Parliament, depending on whether five or six parties make it into the House. PASOK would win between 57 and 71. PASOK’s slide has benefited the Communist Party (KKE) and the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), as well as the smaller Democratic Left, which was formed last year.However, the general unhappiness with the state of Greek politics means that for the first time in a Public Issue poll, respondents rated parties and politicians as the country’s third-biggest problem after the economy and unemployment. Nine in ten voters say they are unhappy with the government but an equal amount say they are dissatisfied with New Democracy. The dissatisfaction with Greece’s leading politicians is also visible in the low approval ratings for both Prime Minister George Papandreou and ND leader Antonis Samaras. Papandreou’s popularity has dropped seven percentage points to 23 per cent since last month, while Samaras saw his rating dropped two percentage points to 35 per cent. The country’s most popular political leaders are Popular Orthodox Rally’s Giorgos Karatzaferis and SYRIZA’s Alexis Tsipras, who tie on 38 per cent. Despite concerns about the government’s handling of the economic crisis, 53 per cent of those questioned said that Greece does not need elections, against 39 per cent that believe they are necessary. Source: Kathimerinilast_img read more

NSW tribute to Angelopoulos

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Greek filmmaker Theo Angelopoulos will have his work honoured through a screening of his first short film Oi Ekpombi by the Greek Orthodox Community of New South Wales. The screening will talk place on Sunday 12 February at the Greek Community’s Hall at Lakemba at 5:00 pm. After the screening Dr Vrasidas Karalis will talk about Angelopoulos’s work and there will be discussions with the audience.Last week, the filmmaker was run over by a motorcycle and died from the tragic accident whilst on set of his new film.For more information and tickets contact (02) 9750 0440.last_img

George Souris sings the praise of Australian films

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Three Australian-made films are reaping box office success and critical acclaim around the world, and the Minister for Arts, George Souris couldn’t be more pleased. He believes strong partnerships with the NSW government will foster more and more productions The minister says “lovers of Australian cinema have great times ahead with films from NSW filmmakers such as Mental, The Railway Man, Dead Europe and Lore to be released over the coming months”. Filming at the moment in Australia is the new Wolverine movie staring Hugh Jackman, and the new Lego animated film.last_img

Greeks fight back against corruption

first_imgOrdinary Greeks are fighting back against endemic levels of corruption in their country, with a number of websites now allowing people to report cases of bribery. Kristina Tremonti’s first brush with “fakelaki” came when her grandfather needed urgent treatment at a public hospital in Kalamata, southern Greece. Treatment is supposed to be free. Fakelaki (pronounced “fakk-el-akee”) is a Greek term which means “little envelope”, but has come to describe a wide range of bribery. “He’s actually a war veteran, and he was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer,” she said. “One night he had incessant bleeding, and we had to rush him to hospital. We were faced with absolute negligence. Nobody gave us the time of day – they were very disrespectful and basically ignored my grandfather.” “We sort of picked up the cue that they were expecting a bribe, so as soon as my mother reached into her purse and gave them the amount – which I believe now was 300 euros (£240; $395) – he was submitted to the operating room within an hour.” The experience traumatised her to such an extent that, even though she was studying at university in the US, she became determined to discover how widespread the practice was in Greece. Inspired by similar websites in India and Kenya, Tremonti set up edosafakelaki (meaning “I paid a bribe”), which allows people to anonymously report cases of bribe-giving or taking, or cases where bribes were refused. “In the beginning, people were surprised to see the stories they were previously only hearing at dinner tables or with friends,” she says. “But now I really believe there is a pan-Hellenic attitude of civic duty growing.” In just over a month, 1,000 different reports of bribery appeared on the site, spurred on by chatter on social media sites. “People are frustrated, they’re angry, they feel cheated, they feel abused. They feel they have been threatened by a system that has rendered them powerless in front of it.” Anger has been spurred on by the severity of the financial crisis and the impact it has had on people’s lives. Over a quarter of Greeks are unemployed. Many can no longer afford the relatively small-scale bribes which were previously accepted as a way of life. Horror stories abound on the website – 60 per cent of the entries relate to corruption in the public health system, 15 per cent to bribes paid to obtain driving licences, and 4 per cent to the issuing of building permits. Entries are also categorised according to the region of Greece in which they occurred, and often individual institutions are named, so there are many clues for authorities to follow if they wish. One person wrote: “My father had cancer and had to have an operation on his pancreas. The surgeon asked indirectly for money, and before surgery I put 500 euros on his desk. From his expression I could see it wasn’t enough. My mother insisted that we pay him more. Oh, and there was something else too! My father noticed all the expensive houses across the road from the hospital, and the nurse told him they were the doctors’ houses. “You know what we call them?” The nurse said, ‘Bribe Ville’.” Concern about corruption has risen as the Greek economy worsens. Last month, Transparency International’s annual international survey of public perception of corruption found that the situation in Greece has deteriorated further. Greece has slipped from 80th to 94th place in the last year, making it the most corrupt country in Europe in terms of people’s perceptions. One of the biggest areas of concern is over corruption in the tax system. Tax evasion is known to be endemic in Greece, and is one of the areas the European Commission is pressing the government to improve. One of the latest scandals was over the failure by Greece to investigate the so-called “Lagarde List” of 2,000 Greeks with Swiss bank accounts. However, there are relatively few cases of tax evasion reported on whistleblowing websites like edosafakelaki. Only 3 per cent of entries here relate to tax. The website’s founder believes this is because bribing a tax inspector is only likely to happen when someone is trying to evade tax, making them unlikely to want to tell people about it, even anonymously. It is an obvious drawback of any self-reporting system. Diomidis Spinellis became well known in Greece when he resigned last year as general secretary of information systems at the Greek Ministry of Finance. His job was to modernise data collection for the outdated tax system. He said he was successful at recovering an extra 700m euros in taxes by cross-checking evidence from different databases. However, he resigned in frustration at the government’s unwillingness to reform the system. After stepping down, he spoke publicly about corrupt tax inspectors and how difficult it was to therefore channel tax owed into the state coffers. He has since returned to academia, and is a professor in computer science at the Athens University of Economics and Business. He too has established a website for reporting corruption. “It’s important to share the experiences and create a perception that this is not something acceptable, and it is something we want to fight,” he says. “The sad fact is that corruption seems to be targeting the most vulnerable members of society… people who are less informed, who know less about their access to public services, who have less education, who don’t know the tax code. They get blackmailed by the people who are supposed to serve them, and this is very sad.” However, he is sanguine about what cultural changes corruption reporting websites can achieve. He believes the only way fundamental change can happen is by complete reform of tax collection and public services. “Just reporting incidents is not enough,” he said. “We have evidence, for instance, that accountants are complicit in running most of these schemes, and they’re very reluctant to report them because they don’t want to tarnish their relationship with corrupt tax auditors.” Tremonti believes that a popular groundswell of opinion against bribery can make a big difference to Greece in its present predicament. “Rooting out corruption will allow for social and economic recovery. I cannot stress this enough. “We can make our country more fertile for growth by taking out the weeds which hinder it – and corruption is a weed.” It’s the simplest austerity measure that can be implemented by the people, she says. “Greek people are ready for change, and they feel they can no longer expect a lead for change only from their elected officials. “The Greek people have realised that in order to revive themselves as a society, they have to tap into their most powerful and unexplored asset – which, in this case, is themselves.” *This story was originally published on the BBC’s website. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

More pension reductions for Greece

first_imgSpeaking to Sto Kokkino FM radio station on Thursday, Labour Minister Giorgos Katrougalos admitted that the government may have to make deeper cuts to pensions than it had wanted.Greece’s lenders stressed on Wednesday that they will not accept the 1.5 percentage point increase in social security contributions, needed to produce the fiscal results for a sustainable pension system.The Labour Ministry is now set to adopt an alternative plan that will see significant cuts to auxiliary pensions implementing a mechanism that will lead to immediate cuts to pensions if the social security funds post a deficit.There is also a possibility the ministry’s plan could see supplementary retirement pay being slashed by as much as 20 per cent affecting auxiliary payments even below €170 a month.Katrougalos suggested that anyone earning more than €1,300 per month in total from their main and supplementary pensions is likely to face a reduction. “There will be no cuts to main and auxiliary pensions that add up to less than €1,300,” he said.“We guarantee that, no matter what.” Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

State by state its still Malcolm Turnbulls election to lose

first_imgThis theme is emphasised when the data is broken down by state. Both Newspoll and Ipsos find a recovery in support for Labor in every state, but not to any particularly significant level – with the exception of Western Australia. Even though it is not yet official, the 2016 election is all but set for July 2. The election will be a double-dissolution poll on the basis of the Senate’s refusal to pass the government’s bill to re-establish the Australian Building and Construction Commission.Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is clearly of the view that an election fought on the matter of union behaviour suits his party’s strategy.The graphic below (Marginal seats held by the Coalition) shows the marginal seats by state. Three things are immediately apparent: – New South Wales has the largest collection of ultra-marginal seats; – Tasmania also has a crucial mass of very marginal seats; – the margins on many of these seats tend more towards 2-3 per cent rather than under 1 per cent. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The results show how difficult it will be for Labor to win the 2016 election.Labor’s hopes for the 2016 election have been buoyed by indicators of a decline in popular support for the Coalition government and, to a lesser extent, for Turnbull himself.Soon after ascending to the leadership, opinion polling indicated that Turnbull and his government enjoyed a surge in support. Turnbull probably should have gone to an early election at that point. But, for whatever reason, he decided instead to allow a series of ultimately fruitless ‘debates’ to occur over taxation, wages policy and federal-state financial relations.These poorly-handled debates, and some internal instability instigated by supporters of the deposed leader Tony Abbott, have contributed to the government’s falling popularity.The decline in the government’s position in the opinion polls, however, has not been so extensive as to constitute a sign of imminent defeat. There has been a swing back to Labor since Turnbull’s ascendancy, and Labor looks like it will improve its position from the last election.Labor’s rise will be due more to the fact that its defeat in 2013 was so bad that a recovery in its vote and representative numbers was inevitable. Labor could hardly have performed more poorly than it did in 2013. The polls are not indicating anything more than a slight correction on 2013. The problem for Labor is that Western Australia has few marginal seats. Support for the Liberal and National parties has fallen since the election – but not by much. However, Ipsos finds a dramatic fall in support in Western Australia and South Australia.More importantly for the Coalition, support in NSW and Queensland remains quite strong. Of the 20 most marginal seats, three are in Queensland and seven are in NSW. The additional seats that Labor would need to win to secure a majority are also in NSW and Queensland. These are the two battleground states in which primary support for the Coalition is much stronger than it is for Labor.The prospect of an equal outcome in the House of Representatives (a ‘hung parliament’) can’t be entirely discounted, although traditional political science views equal outcomes in single member electoral district elections with plurality (that is, majoritarian) voting as improbable. In theory, such systems should reward parties winning a majority of the vote an exaggerated majority.This is the norm in Australian elections. But, as 2010 showed, ‘hung’ parliaments are possible. It is likely that there will be a crossbench after the 2016 election made up of at least one Green (Adam Bandt in Melbourne) and independents Bob Katter (Kennedy), Cathy McGowan (Indi) and possibly Andrew Wilkie (Denison).This would be a handy enough collection of crossbench MPs. There could be more if Tony Windsor is elected in New England, and if Nick Xenophon’s party upsets traditional voting alignments in South Australia. Both Newspoll and Ipsos have indicated severe weakening of support for the major parties in that state, thus adding another degree of difficulty to the contest.The swings against the Coalition occurring in the polls are in states with comparatively few seats or, in the case of Victoria, comparatively few marginal government seats. Queensland and NSW are the key battlegrounds and, so far, the polls are indicating that the Coalition vote is holding up. With the writs for the new election still to be issued and the campaign yet to be in full swing, opinion polls are indicating that the Coalition will be returned with a reduced majority.* This article originally appeared at and is being republished under the Creative Commons licence.last_img read more

Practitioner expresses concern over My Health Record

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Controversy surrounding My Health Record continues, as the deadline to opt out of the digital database fast approaches.Despite a senate inquiry into the matter recommending that it be postponed for 12 months, supported by Labor and the Greens, the coalition has chosen to go ahead with its plan giving Australians until 15 November, after which around 17 million Australians will automatically have a health record created for them.It will include their medical data from the past two years including every doctor they have visited, medical conditions, pharmaceutical data, and pathology results – all of which will automatically become available to some 900,000 medical practitioners across the country – a reality that concerns Dr Con Costa.The outspoken Sydney-based practitioner says it could have long-term implications on patients if the data gets into the wrong hands.He believes the original idea for My Health Record, which was designed as an opt-in record for complex care patients and already had six million Australians on board, made sense.“I’m feeling very unhappy that something that started off as a doctors and computer people trying to help patients with chronic medical conditions – an elective scheme where the doctor and the patient decided, making an informed decision assisted by independent advice from their doctor – has changed,” Dr Costa told Neos Kosmos.It is estimated that 40 per cent of Australians have yet to hear about My Health Record, a concerning figure given Dr Costa treats a large percentage of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) patients.“They say it will be personally operated by you; you will have control. You can go in, you can take stuff out – which reduces the effectiveness of it anyway, you can block people from seeing it – great, sounds fantastic. None of my patients can do that! None are computer literate; they’re older Greeks or migrants,” he says.To help ease concerns, this week Health Minister Greg Hunt unveiled changes to the My Health Record legislation. Among them, the doubling of fines to $315,000 or up to five years’ jail for those that misuse the e-health system, and that the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) cannot delegate access to patient records to other entities, health insurers cannot access records, and employers may not use them to discriminate against workers.But the legislation is unlikely to be set in stone by 15 November.“There’s no law to prevent the sale of this private data to insurance companies and the corporations. If someone hacked it, or even if the government wanted to later sell the data to get the money back for all these costs,” he says.“The government’s saying now we’re going to introduce some rules to say that the government can’t do that, but who’s to say that they can’t change the laws down the track and say ‘well maybe we can sell a little bit’” – a claim that may not be all that far fetched.My Health Record after all has a privacy framework that is identical to England’s failed system, cancelled after it was found to be selling patient data to drug and insurance companies.“The big money this century isn’t going to be from gold or uranium in the ground, it’s going to be from this mass data. If you can get mass data you will control everything: economy, profits,” he says.“How come Medicare has no money, the ABC has been cut back, so has Centrelink. There’s no money for anything, and yet this thing … they can’t throw enough money at it. You start getting suspicious.”Meanwhile it would seem Dr Costa isn’t the only physician with concerns, the numbers speaking for themselves.“Three quarters of Australia’s GPs have opted out – 30,000 specialists, only 300 have shown any interest. In other words, all the specialists are not in, so why am I sharing my record if the specialist isn’t in? It’s absolutely scandalous.”Adding to Dr Costa’s concerns is monetary incentive for uploading patients’ data, with a payment of up to $50,000 per year, per medical practice being allocated. Taking his Hippocratic Oath seriously, he says this creates a conflict of interest.“My responsibility as a doctor is to protect you, that’s what you come to me for. And I think now they’re forcing the doctors into an unethical position. So you sit down with your doctor, and your doctor says ‘I’ll upload this, it’s good for you’ but the doctor’s not saying ‘and I’m going to get $50,000 a year for doing this’,” he explains.While the record has in large part been justified to ensure better treatment of patients, with more accurate information, Dr Costa says that the biggest factor when it comes to mistakes in the medical field is a lack of time with the patient for critical thinking, a direct cause of a lack of funding for Medicare.With My Health record estimated to cost over $2 billion with annual costs currently at $500 million, he says the funding would be more wisely injected into Medicare to give doctors more time with patients to better understand problems and manage conditions.“Let’s be quite clear about this, I would not be talking to you had it stayed as opt in, because what the doctor and patient do voluntarily, that’s their decision. I don’t think it’s safe, but I agree for someone that’s 85 years old, has had cancer and lots of doctors,” says Dr Costa.“I think My Health Record Opt In was the Trojan horse, getting all the medical professionals involved, thinking we were going to help the chronic, complex patients with this and then once they got us all involved, they changed it to opt out and thought we’d be stupid enough to keep supporting them.“You asked me why I’m doing this? Wouldn’t you as a doctor? Having been trained in the Hippocratic Oath and watching all this happen, the more I looked at it, the worse the smell got.”last_img read more

Melbourne students hoist eight flags for Greek Independence Day

first_imgAfter the hype of parades across Australia on Sunday, a very low-key and meaningful celebration took place to honour Greek Independence Day at Federation Square at 9.30am on Monday.Eight Greek flags flown to Australia from Athens and were raised by students from five afternoon schools around Melbourne. Themistocles Kritikakos from the University of Melbourne kicked off events.Greek students at the event were selected as a result of their excellence and behaviour. They were:Anastasios and Aikaterini Paraskevopoulos from AHEPA Greek SchoolSienna and Christopher Mastos from Mavraganis Greek SchoolGiorgos and Notis Karidakis from Nestoras CollegeMia Paliouras and Michael Ouliadis from Protypo Greek CentreREAD MORE: See photos from the 25th March Independence Day parade in MelbourneStudents sang the Greek national anthem in the event organised by the Thessaloniki Union “O Lefkos Pyrgos” ( with the committee of Greek School of Language and Culture of Australia ( Ο δήμος τη Μελβούρνης τιμά την εθνική μας επέτειο.The City of Melbourne honours Greek National Day.(This couldn’t have happened without the assistance of Pavlos Mavroudis and the Thessaloniki Union)Posted by Konstantinos Kalymnios on Sunday, March 24, 2019 Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Ostréiculture fin du test de la souris

first_imgOstréiculture : fin du test de la sourisFrance – Le ministre de l’Agriculture François Le Maire a confirmé lundi la fin du test de la souris pour la commercialisation des huîtres. Dorénavant, un test chimique sera appliqué.Le test de la souris permettait aux ostréiculteurs de déterminer si leurs huîtres pouvaient être mises en vente. Le procédé consistait à injecter, en laboratoire, des extraits d’huîtres à des souris. Celles-ci devaient survivre au moins vingt-quatre heures après l’injection pour que les huîtres puissent être commercialisées. À lire aussiLa plus grosse huître du Royaume-Uni pêchée en EcosseDepuis 5 ans, ce test entraînait régulièrement une interdiction de vente des huîtres et le mécontentement des ostréiculteurs. Seul le résultat du test de la souris comptait, or parfois des tests chimiques l’infirmait. Par exemple, dans le Bassin d’Arcachon, la vente d’huîtres a été interdite de nombreuses fois alors que selon les tests chimiques, elle n’aurait dû être proscrite qu’une seule fois. De plus, ce test ne permettait pas de connaître la cause exacte du décès, c’est-à-dire le composé toxique en cause.Un test chimique a donc été mis au point. Validé par l’Union européenne, il permet de savoir quelles sont les toxines présentes dans les huîtres ainsi que leur quantité exacte. Ainsi, il est beaucoup plus fiable pour les consommateurs et les interdictions de vente seront certainement moins fréquentes qu’avec l’ancien test.Le 19 janvier 2010 à 12:35 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more